Pelosi Backs Away from Turkey

A non-binding House resolution proposed by Speaker Pelosi, which would have condemned Turkey for genocide of Armenians nearly a century ago is apparently being shelved. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday a House vote was unlikely considering political opposition in U.S. leadership and action taken by Turkey to recall its U.S. Ambassador to Ankara.  

Opposition to Pelosi’s maneuver — calculated to injure our relationship with a key ally in the Iraq conflict — was sparked Friday by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.  First to follow Limbaugh’s opening volley,  HUMAN EVENTS helped set the path that most conservative media quickly followed. In editor Jed Babbin’s Monday column, HUMAN EVENTS explained why Pelosi’s initiative was gratuitous, redundant and put at risk a key supply line into Iraq.  Babbin wrote:

“Not only are we dependent on Turkey for our principal supply line into Iraq, we are in on the verge of a crisis with Turkey, trying to convince the Erdogan government to continue to refrain from attacking the PKK — Kurdish terrorist forces — that have been raiding into southeastern Turkey for years. “

Turkey has allowed the US to use Incirlik Air Base to transship about 70% of all air cargo into Iraq including 33% of the fuel US forces use and 95% of the MRAP (mine-resistant, ambush-protected) vehicles that can save American lives in insurgents’ attacks.  Turkey warned that if the Pelosi resolution passed, it might end our ability to send cargoes through Incirlik.

Top military leaders, including U.S. Army Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus, and high ranking Democrat leaders — surprisingly lead by Rep. John Murtha (normally in agreement with Pelosi) — in the House urged Pelosi not to follow through with the resolution in light of the dire consequences such action would render.

The timing of the obscure proposal was questioned by Republican lawmakers. As positive reports return from Iraq, Pelosi and a Democrat Congress who promised to end the war find fewer ways to fulfill that promise and some have suggested this resolution was an aversion.

Limbaugh summed it up yesterday, saying, “Nobody will convince me that this was not a stealth way, a cowardly way of affecting negatively the success happening in Iraq vis-à-vis the surge…The death tolls are down; Al-Qaeda is on the run.  The Democrats politically cannot afford a victory…”

House Minority Leader John Boehner spoke out against it Sunday, saying “this is something that historians ought to sort out and not members of Congress.”

According to the New York Times, Turkey Armed Forced Chief Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, called the resolution “’sad and sorrowful,’ in light of the strong links the two NATO allies have shared.”

HUMAN EVENTS spoke with Turkish Ambassador to the United States Nabi Sensoy last week, who mentioned the effective, working relationship America has with Turkey that could be damaged.

The resolution was Introduced by Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). And most lawmakers were hesitant to support it in light of eight former secretaries of state from both parties cautioning against it.

In light of strong bi-partisan opposition, the motion will not likely reach the floor for a vote.